In order to give insight and value to this article let's define those two words first. Proactive; Acting in advance to deal with an expected change or difficulty . And then Reactive is; Tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus. Why do I ask which one serves us best? Because how we react to issues and challenges in our lives dictates not only our outcome, but our future as well. In order to be more precise, let's take a look at how each one looks when applied to a particular challenge we might face.

Now this example is a bit simple but easily applied to us living here on the east coast. Now also understand that the principles is what is most important here not they example. Every year we get on average 100 to 120 inches a snow a year. So after spending just 1 winter here we can come to understand that this happens every year. Some years better then others (meaning less snow vs more snow) but for the most part that is what we expect 100 to 120 inches a year.

How does that pertain to the topic you ask? Very easy, lets take a look at they proactive approach to this equation. Now if I am proactive I do what you think? Well, if we are talking about my house it would be:
Make sure my snow blower is checked and working properly.
Make sure I have rock salt or something to melt ice off my porch and steps.
Make sure I know where my shovels are and they are not broken.

Now if it was being proactive about traveling in our car it would be more like this;
Make sure I have my snow brush and scraper.
Make sure I have jumper cables in my car.
Make sure my tires are in good condition

I am sure we can list several other important things we need, but I think you get the picture about being proactive, which means taking the necessary steps ahead of the challenges you might face in life.

Now how would this look from a reactive point of view;
Big snow storms hits and no gas for snow blower or better yet won't start at all because you never checked to see it needed new spark plug.
Your daughter comes home from school and falls coming into the house because off all the ice on the steps.
Because the snow blower is not working you can't find the brand new shovel you bought last year.

Any of this sound familiar? How about with our car;
You come outside after work and car is covered with snow and you are out their brushing it off with you hands because you can't find the brand new scraper you got free when you bought the brand new shovel last year.
Standing outside freezing waiting for triple A to come jump start your car because no one including you have jumper cables in their car.
Then smashing into a curb because your tires can't grip the road.

All to often people will read an article like this and say yeah but. That simple line of “yeah but” is they crippling effect on our society today. More times then not “yeah but” can be avoided. Just from they examples above how much stress could you eliminate from your life by being just a little more Proactive? As compared to being Reactive to any situation you face. I read a book a while back by Author Jack Canfield called Success Principles. In it he talks about an equation that when used can hold great power for us to live by. That equation is:

E + R = O

Event + Response = Outcome

Take any Event in your life add your Response or (Reaction) to it and it will always equal your Outcome.

Outcome is how we measure things in business and in life. It is how we measure all things to a degree. So the question is simply this? How will you responded to your next event? Proactive or Reactive? The one you choose will determine your outcome. Not only in that event, but also in your life.

Remember be positive, be real and live your life In The Zone.